Old Dominion University
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College of Sciences

Department of Psychology

Ph.D. Industrial / Organizational Psychology

Industrial / Organizational







Student Funding and Tuition


Requirements Guide (PDF)

Application Requirements

Program Overview

The I/O Ph.D. program is designed to adhere to the scientist-practitioner model as endorsed by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology of the American Psychological Association (SIOP, Division 14). This model requires educational experiences that provide (a) broad doctoral training firmly based on psychological theory and basic behavioral science, (b) greater depth of knowledge broadly spread over the fundamental areas of I/O psychology, and (c) concentration in further depth in one of the areas of I/O psychology. Consistent with the objectives of this model, the general philosophy and plan of the I/O psychology program at Old Dominion University is to provide graduate training consisting of four phases: (1) a core of basic psychology, acquired primarily at the master's level, (2) broad training in the areas of I/O psychology with a greater degree of concentration in at least one area, (3) research and practical experience in I/O psychology, and (4) completion of a dissertation representing a significant contribution to I/O psychology. Completion of these four phases requires approximately five years of study.

ODU's I/O doctoral program is organized around two broad areas of concentration:

Personnel Psychology. Personnel psychology involves the study of the fit between the individual and the organization including topics such as employee recruitment and selection, performance management, employee training and development, job analysis, and psychometrics.

Organizational Psychology. Organizational psychology involves the study of organizational influences including topics such as work motivation, job satisfaction, leadership, group and team processes, and organizational development and change.

Research and Applied Opportunities:

The breadth and flexibility of ODU's I/O psychology program yield many opportunities for students to gain experience in research and practice. ODU's implementation of the scientist/practitioner model recommended by SIOP means that students are equally prepared to pursue a job after graduation in academia, industry, or government. In fact, ODU alumni work successfully in each of these areas. Please see our alumni page for more information.

Students are provided with many opportunities to gain experience conducting laboratory and field research, often while being paid as graduate research assistants. Doctoral students participate in research starting in their first year. They remain actively engaged in research throughout their time in the program. They have opportunities to be involved in the entire range of research activities including preparation of grant proposals, research design, data collection and analysis, and dissemination of research results.In fact, students frequently present their research results at national and international conferences and publish in professional journals. The psychology department typically provides financial support to achieve these publication objectives. Please see our research page for recent presentations/publications.

Faculty and students are actively conducting laboratory and field research studies on topics such as personnel selection, individual differences (e.g., personality and cognitive ability), e-learning and videogame-based training, employee self-development, team performance, organization socialization, women in the work force, leadership, leader-member exchange, career development, diversity, work-family interface, the virtual workplace, organizational and technological change, cross-cultural and Chinese management practices, developmental relationships at work, and positive psychology applied to organizations. Research is supported by the private sector as well as local, state and federal government organizations, such as Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center, NASA -Langley Research Center, and National Science Foundation, among others. Please see our faculty and student pages for more information.

Multiple opportunities also exist to gain applied experiences in private-sector and public-sector organizations. For instance, students may work on a consulting project, engage in service learning as part of coursework, and/or complete a paid internship. Many students with applied career interests continue to conduct their dissertation research in the organization that hosts their internship.

For a student's perspective of the field and program, please see the video here.